There are eight Minnesota State Parks along the North Shore and they're all fabulous! Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse are great, but they're very popular, almost too crowded in the summer. Some fan favorites in the Knife River to the Lutsen area are Tettegouche because it has a beautiful Baptism River and there's the famous Palisade Head cliff and scenic Shovel Point peninsula. Also, George Crosby Manitou was the first in the system designed primarily for backpackers and it has remained one of the state's wildest parks. None of the big group campgrounds with RVs and such, but just remote secluded campsites along the Manitou River. It's more effort to get to them, but worth it!
This section of the shore also has the most comfortable accommodations. There are lots of vacation home rentals (we have a guide on our website) plus resorts like Bluefin Bay, Lutsen Resort, and Larsmont with pools and spas and restaurants, etc. At Larsmont there's a phone in the sauna where you can call to have the bar deliver cocktails! There's great food in the area, too. Hutton previously talked about some of the best places for pie — Lemon Wolf, Rustic Inn, and New Scenic. There's always smoked fish at places like Russ Kendall's Smoke House. The cute little Great! Lakes Candy, which makes all sorts of handmade chocolates sold by the pound, is also located nearby.